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front view of a horse's hoof

Is this a normal, healthy hoof? This hoof is not symmetrical - the hoof wall on the left side of the photo is more upright, while the wall on the right side of the photo is slanted outward.

Author, veterinary pathologist, and  authority on equine biomechanics and anatomy Dr. James Rooney, DVM, says yes – and no.

Left and right hooves are often symmetrical images of each other mirrored across the center line of the horse’s body, yet are not symmetrical across their own center lines.

Look at the photo of the hoof on the left. Is this a right hoof, or a left hoof? (Answer below.) The inside wall of most horse hooves appears steeper, while the outside wall has a more gradual slope.

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Use the links below to learn about some of the more popular makes and models of hoof boots available for barefoot horses:

  • manufacturer websites – where you can purchase hoof boots and find selection guides, information on sizing, and handy hints, tips, and how-to videos. Many hoof boot manufacturer websites also have hoof trimming how-to tutorials and videos!
  • buy or sell hoof boots online – equine supply stores online that carry hoof boots and online marketplaces where you can buy or sell used hoof boots
  • Yahoo forums that discuss the ins and outs of hoof boots for riding

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Read the articles linked below to learn about different theories on White Line Disease – the micro-organisms involved, other contributing factors, and effective treatments.

Various approaches have been used to explore the causes and processes of this disorder.  Scientists have tried to identify the micro-organisms involved and to artificially create the disorder in healthy horses to explore contributing factors – often with inconsistent and conflicting results.  The articles below cover some the most commonly-mentioned studies, discussing the methods used, and the results and conclusions.

Management of White Line Disease
By Stephen E. O’Grady, DVM, MRCVS

Taking the Mystery out of White Line Disease
By Dr. Richard Shakalis & Dr. John Pautienis

Examining White Line Disease
By Dr. Michael A. Ball, Michael Wildenstein and Sang Shin

White Line Disease – What is it?
By Richard Dunivant

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Horse Hoof Anatomy - Cross section view

Horse Hoof Anatomy - Cross section view

Not for the faint of heart!  Visit the site linked below to see a library of images of equine cadaver feet and legs, showing internal and external, and normal and abnormal anatomy.

Horse Anatomy Photos from HorseScience

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The Equine Cushing’s Disease and Insulin Resistance website is complimentary to the Equine Cushing’s and Insulin Resistance Yahoo Group (EC and IR Group).  These resources are your first stop for comprehensive and up-to-date information about Equine Cushing’s, Insulin Resistance, Laminitis, and Founder. Read the rest of this entry »

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